Friday, October 1, 2010

Freezer Paper Applique Tutorial

I finished all the applique on the little autumn wall hanging and wanted to demonstrate this great way to applique.

Tumbling Leaves from "Fat Quarter Quilting" by Lori Smith

This technique is not mine - I have seen it mentioned in a few books. I was intimidated by machine applique (I had appliqued by hand) and had tried various techniques - this is my favorite (and easiest).

This technique uses freezer paper. Trace all the applique patterns onto the paper side of the freezer paper - this will be the right side of the applique shape. Cut out the shape. With a few small spots of glue stick (this is just one I had - and it works), glue the pattern with the shiny (wax) side up onto the back of the fabric. Cut out the fabric with ¼" seam allowance. Clip inside curves.

With the tip of the iron (I don't use steam because I burn my fingers as it is), iron the seam allowance onto the freezer paper. The wax melts and holds the seam in place. This takes a bit of practice to work smooth curves, and not crease the paper.

I didn't end up using this pumpkin - it didn't show up on the border. But I reused the freezer paper pattern.

To make smooth curves on round shapes you can run a small gathering stitch around the edge of the fabric.

Pull the thread and iron the edge down.

I used this technique for the tops of the stems too.

All the pieces are ready to be sewn down.

Pin the applique piece in the correct position (the stem is already stitched down).

I use Glue-Baste-It by Roxanne. It comes with a fancy tip for applying small drops of glue but it needs to be cleaned out every time, so I find it easier to just use a large pin dipped into the bottle to apply small drops.

Apply some small drops around the edge of the applique, on the seam allowance only. The glue dries pretty fast. You could probably omit this step and just use pins. This just makes it more manageable.

Stitch with a fine zig-zag around the applique with an open toe foot, and a #70 needle, with either invisible thread or Invisafil (I tried this for the first time and it worked great). One side of the stitch goes just off the edge of the applique and the other catches the applique.

I use a very fine zig-zag stitch (I have a Husqvarna sewing machine), stitch length of 2 and width of 1.5. Also adjust the tension so that it is tighter (the bobbin thread pulls the upper thread down - it is 3 on my machine). I used a regular neutral thread in the bobbin (beige Aurifil).

When it is all stitched down cut away the backing, leaving a ¼" seam allowance.

Rip away the freezer paper, the tiny zig-zag perforates the paper making this easy. You can use a stitch riper to help tear the paper - but be careful not to catch the thread or fabric. Pull the paper gently so as not to distort anything. Use tweezers to pull out small pieces of paper.

A close-up of the stitching.

This is my sample piece I made to figure out the settings I liked for my machine.

I think this makes a very sturdy applique that would be great for lap/bed quilts etc. I hope you give it a try.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!

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